Sunday, March 11, 2018

Book Giveaway: The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Yard


“Urban and suburban aren’t so different anymore," writes author Susan Morrison in her new book The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Garden. And it’s so true! Suburban houses are about the same size, but the lots that they sit on seem to be getting more and more modest in size. A "small" urban garden no longer refers to the outdoor spaces offered in townhouses, condos, and apartments. Tiny backyards are the new normal even in the suburbs.

Susan is a landscape designer with a long, successful career, so it's no surprise that the focus of her book is garden design. It is is a practical, “less is more” approach to gardening that links the design of a garden to the lifestyles of the people who will be using and enjoying it.

This book is aimed primarily at young professionals juggling careers, kids and busy lives. The goal is to get the most out of an outdoor space with least amount of effort.

From the book The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Yard by Susan Morrison published by Timber Press in 2018. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

When it comes to gardens, bigger isn't always better at any rate. A small garden requires fewer plants and less time to design, install and maintain.

Susan's new book aims to help homeowners make the best use of every square foot of space. When she tallies up her less is more approach to design, there are actually a lot of pluses:

• Less space, more enjoyment
• Less effort, more beauty
• Less maintenance, more relaxation
• Less gardening-by-the-numbers, more YOU.

From the book The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Yard by Susan Morrison published by Timber Press in 2018. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

I found another review that broke the book down into chapters really helpful, so I thought that I’d take a similar approach:

Chapter 1 poses the questions that will help you match the design of your landscape to your lifestyle: What time of the day and in what seasons are you likely to use the garden? Who will be using the garden? Chapter one also guides you through the process of making allowances in the design for children, guests and even the family pet.

Chapter 2 tackles a variety of possible design approaches.

Chapter 3 helps homeowners use a small space to its best advantage. Growing vertical, creating an illusion of space and the debate of lawn/no lawn are some of the issues covered.

Chapter 4 addresses sensory elements. Topics covered include attracting wildlife to the garden, including scent, adding color and the relaxing sound of water to the garden.

Chapter 5 looks briefly at a variety of different hardscaping options.

Chapter 6 touches on plants that will make a garden attractive and yet keep it low maintenance: plants with four seasons of interest, dwarf shrubs, long-blooming plants and easy perennials.

Chapter 7 helps you add in personal touches that give a garden style.

From the book The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Yard by Susan Morrison published by Timber Press in 2018. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

This book is represents a modern, realistic approach to gardening where the lifestyle and design intersect to create outdoor spaces that are suited to a family’s needs. In short: gardens that don’t involve a ton of traditional gardening.

I closed the book wondering if this is the way of the future?

My own garden is old-school cottage garden. It’s pretty, but it’s high maintenance. As I set the book down, I began to feel a bit like a dinosaur...but then I paused to reconsider.

The thing I am most passionate about as a gardener is nature and the outdoors, not the labour. Every family deserves a private haven where they can  enjoy being outdoors. If Susan Morrison's less is more approach means that more people are doing just that, then we are actually on the same page. After all, reconnecting with nature is were a passion for gardening is often born.

The Less is More Garden is filled with the wisdom honed from Susan's experience as a designer, lots of practical advice and stylish examples of her less is more approach. There may come a time in the not so distant future when my creaking back and rickety knees see me trading in my high maintenance plot for a garden that is much smaller, but hopefully just as beautiful.


Thanks to Timber Press for providing a copy of The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing your Small Garden for me to give away. Because this book will go to a winner through the mail, we will have to limit entry to readers in Canada and the USA. 

Please leave a comment below, if you would like to be included in the book draw. The draw will remain open until Saturday, March 31stIf you are not a blogger, you can enter by leaving a comment on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page (there is an additional link to the Facebook page at the bottom of the blog). You are also welcome to enter by sending me an email (jenc_art@hotmail.com).


About the Author:

Susan Morrison is a nationally recognized landscape designer and authority on small-space garden design. She has shared her strategies on the PBS series Growing a Greener World and in publications such as Fine Gardening. Morrison has also served as editor-in-chief of The Designer, a digital magazine produced by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

26 comments:

  1. I’d love to win a copy of those book. We downsized our home and garden and I need inspiration for the slope in the back. Thanks for the contest.

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    1. Slopes can be tricky to manage and a nightmare to mow is they are steep. I do have a couple of gardens with sloped backyards to show in the near future...

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  2. Love the blog and fb site, I would love a copy of the book!

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  3. Beautiful photos, thanks for the heads up about this book. I could use a "rethink" of my landscape plan. It's already too much for me to handle!! Hope I win a copy :)

    Thanks Jennifer xo

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    1. You have got me thinking that I ought to do a low maintenance garden post Anne.

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  4. As I retire from teaching in May, I am excited to know I will have more time to garden. However, by body is starting to rebel from all that digging, weeding, and planting…so downsizing may be in the future…this book looks like it has great ideas and inspiration. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. We are approaching retirement in the next five years, so I can relate. One idea you might want to consider Karen is raised beds. They bring the garden up and there is less strain on the back and knees.

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  5. This is the second review I've seen of this book. I have a small city lot and I would love to have a copy.

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    1. I think the subject is timely and the author is well known so there is a bit of buzz around this new book. I'll enter your name in the draw Joanne.

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  6. I would love to win this book as I am digging up my small front yard to plant

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  7. I also have a small city lot - I'd love be be entered in this drawing! Thanks so much!

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  8. Sounds like a great book to read. As a garden down sizes so too our body needs down sizing, whether we want too or not.. Thank you

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  9. I would love to have a copy of this book. I only garden a few small areas of my yard so I need some guidance.

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  10. I have a small lot and think this book would give me the answers I need to have a lovely garden. Hope I win the book! Such an inspiring blog.

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  11. This is right up my alley. For the first time in my life I have a tiny yard and we are completely re-doing it. Since downsizing our home, and the yard, my next project is creating a beautiful, yet not crowded small space both front and back. I love the outdoors and the yard is always my refuge. All the pluses noted above, I agree with completely.

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  12. Thanks everyone for your comments. The author seems to have struck a cord with so many of you. We are all getting older and everyone has busy lives. It's hard to argue with less work and more enjoyment!

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  13. I'd love to be entered into the draw for this lovely book!

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  14. Hello Jennifer girl .. I really like this book and the concept of making your small space more functional yet easier to maintain .. we have been working bit by bit to try and make my garden easier to handle .. first it was the investment of the sprinkler system because that was a huge issue about how much time and effort went into hand watering .. it really saved my sanity ! Now as a second phase we are having the old patio ripped up and relaid as flagstone which makes sweeping up leaves and general debris so much easier and looking so much prettier matching the flagstone paths .. it has taken years to accomplish this because it is expensive. BUT .. the work it saves is amazing and so much better for me .. so it is a worthwhile investment .. now I just have to reorganize the plants to reflect a more relaxed atmosphere ... I think that book might help me with that aspect ? LOL

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  15. I would love to be entered to win this book! I have just become an empty-nester and look forward to a spring and summer of being outdoors and resurrecting our small backyard. Thank you!

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  16. Hi Jennifer,
    Had seen this one on Timber's list and wondered about it. While I too have a garden that needs daily attack, I'm looking for some tricks and tips that will help me to age with my garden. Perhaps smaller well designed sections as part of a whole are the way for me to go. I think I'll add it to my Timber preview list.

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  17. I'm thinking of ways to monopolize on space since I'll probably be moving into a house with small yard this summer.

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  18. We will be down-sizing this summer, so I will be starting a garden from scratch. This would really help me get started.

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  19. I will be starting a new garden/landscaping this summer, at a new house. This book would help guide me in this process.

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  20. Just a word to those leaving a comment as an "unknown". Please make sure I can track down a name or some way to identify you as a winner (so far the two "unknown" commenters have done so). I want to include all those interested in the draw. Thanks!

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  21. I'd love a copy! We're in the process of putting a garden into our new house and it'd be a great help.

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I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.